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Shorewood's Green Team Snow and Ice Plan Is Not Working

Shorewood system to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice fails on first snowfall and ice storm.

According to the village newsletter, keeping Shorewood sidewalks clear of snow and ice for a "walkable" community is suppose to work as such:

The Green Team will survey the Village 12 or more hours after a measurable snow event at the request of the Director of Public Works. A notice will be left on the door of delinquent properties noting they have 12 additional hours to complete snow and ice removal. A list of delinquent addresses will be given to the Police Department. If the snow and ice is not removed in a timely manner, the Green Team will return to remove the snow. The property owner will be charged a $15 fee plus snow removal charges at a rate of $50/hour. Total charges will be added to the property owners tax bill.

It will be interesting to see what the response is to the snow we just had yesterday. But the system did not work for the last snowfall we had.

On the previous snowfall most residents quickly cleared the snow away and most residents took measures to keep their walks clear of ice, which became very pronounced due to the very wet snow mixed with drizzle. Also the partial thawing in the sunlight and the re-freezing of the slush and snow in the night.

The result was that after the previous storm, many sidewalks were impassable in a safe manner. Throughout Shorewood, many residents had to resort to walking in the street, as long patches of ice and frozen slush at many residences precluded them from using the sidewalks.

On one trip to Walgreens, I noted that most blocks had an average of five to six homeowners who did not remove the ice and frozen slush from their sidewalks. One corner house across from Lake Bluff school was especially bad, and neither the sidewalks or the street crossings were cleared.

In order for the system to work, the DPW manager needs to alert the Green Team to do inspections, and it appears that the DPW management was remiss.

The police department would get referrals from the Green Team if the system is activated, and since DPW failed to do so, there were no referrals.

Let's hope the village does a better job during the rest of this winter season, and keep Shorewood a pedestrian friendly community --- without the need to walk in the streets.

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Sunrocket December 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Glad you wrote this Dave. I was walking this morning and I can give the police some referrals myself. A snow like yesterday is particularly dangerous as it is dry and fluffy and will sit on top of ice. After all the promoting of the Green Team you would have thought they would have been out in full force this morning. I remember reading an article earlier in the fall that last year was deemed a success with the Green Team - how could it not have been - we had no snow!! I am a year round walker in Shorewood and I there are always the usual suspects that never shovel, and it is not the renters either. Residents, please, if you are not going to shovel at least keep some salt or other melter down.
Bob McBride December 31, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Dave, what exactly is the "Green Team"? I understand what they do, just not how they're structured. Is this a volunteer group that works with the DPW contacts? A private service the Village contracts with for this service?
David Tatarowicz December 31, 2012 at 05:39 PM
@Bob My understanding is that it is a private contractor that the Village pays. However they are only activated when the DPW Manament tells them to do their job. If the offender does not clear their snow or ice, the Green Team does so and the property owner is charged --- in addition to a ticket written by the police after being referred by the Green Team. An inquisitive person might wonder why the DPW workers cannot just jot down an address as they work and turn the list in for referral to the police. If the snow or ice is still not cleared when the cops go by, a ticket would be written and the DPW notified to clear the walkway. Also -- as I noted above to Sunrocket --- Anybody can make a referral to the police, and they will write a ticket --- not sure if they just write one or give a warning first --- in any case, it would clear a whole lot of walks if folks would make complaints to the cops. After the first storm, since the Green Team was not working, the police got no referrals.
David Tatarowicz December 31, 2012 at 05:41 PM
@Sunrocket Obviously YOU get it --- would be nice if Village Management would get it too !!! As I noted below, ANYBODY can call the police for a walkway not cleared -- I would encourage you to do so for repeat offenders that are risking your life and limb in this Pedestrian Friendly Community
Sunrocket December 31, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I guess I originally thought the green team was the one patrolling the sidewalks. At the time I read that I thought why couldn't the police or parking checker jot down names and refer to police. Route collectors are an even better idea because they are out all day in all parts of the village . I'll take up your suggestion Dave and bring paper and pen with me on my next walk. It was a sketchy one this morning too as there are some solid blocks of ice out there. Wish people could take care of that before it get's too cold for snow melter to work.
CowDung January 02, 2013 at 06:46 PM
I blame the Westies...

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